November 21, 2019

NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and the Family Travel Association Publish 2019 Family Travel Survey, Which Reveals That Affordability Continues to be a Cause of Diminished Family Travel

New Research Also Indicates That Skip-Generational or “Gramping” Travel is on the Rise and That Asian-American Families are Emerging as a Strong Segment for Family Travel

NEW YORK, November 21, 2019 – Each year, the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and the Family Travel Association (FTA) collaborate on research regarding trends in family travel—a $160 billion industry.

The 2019 Family Travel Survey, now in its 5th year of publication, polled a total of 1,580 parents and 1,168 grandparents. It revealed some interesting trends—Asian-American families have emerged as a promising segment in the market, but overall, parent intent to travel with children is down for the third year in a row. This is due to the high cost of traveling.

“Parents know family vacations are very important, but the strain of paying for travel weighs heavily on the American household budget,” noted Lynn Minnaert, academic director and clinical associate professor at the Tisch Center of Hospitality, who served as the lead researcher for the survey. The data confirms 82% of parents agree that affordability is the main reason they forego taking family vacations. When the survey was first conducted in 2015, 93% of parents indicated that they were planning to travel with their family in the coming years. Since 2017, that percentage has decreased. This year, only 70% of parent respondents are intending to travel with their children in the next few years.

On a more positive note, according to the Survey, “Gramping” or skip-generational travel is a growing travel option for families. The survey examined two types of travel with grandparents: skip-generational travel (grandparents traveling with their grandchildren, without the parents present), and multigenerational travel (travel with grandparents, parents, and grandchildren). One of the key findings is that skip-generational travel is more common and often takes the form of shorter trips. In contrast, multigenerational travel occurs less frequently, but the average spending on these types of vacations is usually higher because of their longer duration.

Minnaert elaborated that “in the instance of skip-generational travel, there is a stronger focus on activities and attractions, and grandparents tend to worry more about keeping the children safe and healthy during their time away. Multigenerational travel is more about enjoying quality time as a family— beach and lake/mountain vacations are more common with accommodations that include kitchen facilities for families to prepare and eat meals together.”

Rainer Jenss, who is the founder of the Family Travel Association, added, “Today’s grandparents are taking advantage of the fact that they are living healthier, longer lives, and are vacationing with their grandkids, either traveling with their children and grandchildren, or giving parents time off by taking their grandkids away themselves.”

The Survey also indicated that Asian-American families are emerging as a strong segment for family travel. These families tend to spend more on family travel, and are more likely to increase their spending on both domestic and international travel.


  • 77% of parent respondents have traveled with their children in the past three years, and 70% are planning to travel with their children in the coming three years. The average annual spending on family travel across parent respondents was $3,835. The median amount was $2,435.
  • Affordability is the most dominant challenge for respondents, and is a major reason why parents with access to paid vacation days do not use more of them for family travel.
  • 53% of the parent respondents have taken a multigenerational trip in the past. 65% of them plan to take, or would consider taking, a multigenerational trip in the future. Multigenerational trips usually are organized by the parents and grandparents together, and the costs are typically shared.
  • Grandparent respondents are less likely to have traveled by plane with grandchildren in the past three years for multigenerational than for skip-generational travel (24% vs. 34%). Participants in multigenerational travel also are less likely to use online booking tools than participants in skip-generational travel (20% vs. 33%).
  • Grandparents, on average, value amenities for children more on skip-generational trips than parents do on family vacations (72% vs. 65%). Grandparents on skip-generational trips are twice as likely to worry about keeping the children safe and healthy while traveling compared to parents (42% vs. 21%).
  • 16% of parent respondents have used a travel agent to plan and book a trip in the past three years. Of the grandparent respondents, 8% have used a travel agent to plan and book a skip-generational trip in the past three years.
  • For parents, Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform (79%), followed by Instagram (60%) and Pinterest (52%). Only 9% of parent respondents are not active on any social media. For grandparent respondents, Facebook also is the most commonly used social media platform (78%), followed by Instagram (42%) and Pinterest (32%). 17% of grandparent respondents are not active on any social media.

About the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality
The NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, now celebrating 24 years of academic excellence, is a leading center for the study of hospitality, travel, and tourism. Founded in 1995, the Tisch Center was established in response to the growing need for hospitality and tourism undergraduate and graduate education. Its cutting-edge curricula attract bright, motivated students who seek to become leaders in their fields.

Through its undergraduate degree in hotel and tourism management, its graduate degrees in hospitality industry studies, tourism management, and event management; a plethora of Professional Pathways programs; and its world-renowned hospitality investment conference, students gain the knowledge and the skill sets that enable them to manage change, to communicate, to thrive in complex work environments, and to advance the businesses of hospitality, travel, and tourism. For more information about the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, visit

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
For 85 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 20 graduate degrees, 14 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and post-traditional students, four associate’s degrees, and a plethora of non-degree courses and credentials.

NYUSPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYUSPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders are a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYUSPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 27,000 NYUSPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more, visit

About the Family Travel Association
The Family Travel Association was founded in 2014 to create a single and collective voice on behalf of the travel industry and those companies that serve traveling families. As a coalition of the leading family travel suppliers, resources, and experts, its mission is to inspire families to travel—and travel more—while advocating travel be an essential part of every child’s education. For additional information on the Family Travel Association, visit

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